Marketing and Research Consulting for a Brave New World
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Cross-Media understanding is a top priority for ARF members (based on a recent survey of over 200 ARF members). No surprise there. However, when we conducted 20 in-depth interviews among members, the reasons started to fragment (yeah, just like media!) Here are some of the things we heard (and have gleaned from the trade press).

Media Agencies and media companies

  • How do we measure audience across the long-tail?
  • How do we estimate reach across platforms and properties?
  • How do we compare across platforms (not all pairs of eyeballs are equal)?
  • How do we construct an integrated plan that mirrors the shopping process?

Media Companies
Cross-platform packaging.
• ESPN reorganized its ad salesforce to be agnostic regarding platform (described in the book “Always On…” by Chris Vollmer and Geoffrey Precourt)

  • CBS is actively seeking cross-platform deals and started calling for ratings to include internet viewing when they estimated 10% of viewing of some first run TV shows occurs via the computer
  • ABC was recently reported to offer makegoods via online viewing
  • Making sure I don’t get lost in the mix
  • More traditional media properties are concerned that they will get lost in “rush to digital” and Web 2.0; how do they continue to tell their story?

Advertisers focused on new marketing strategic thinking:
• How do we get our organization to express the brand idea beyond the :30?
• How do we balance TV and shopper marketing?
• How do we build engagement with our customers?

Research Organizations
They see the opportunity presented by unmet needs to measure audience, equate measurement across platforms, and to determine the effectiveness of different components of a marketing campaign. We see bold, dramatic changes, such as the use of STB data from millions of devices, devices that capture all ambient sounds (IMMI), and new approaches to single-source (Comscore, TRA) where internet and viewing behavior are matching to frequent shopper data.

Why is this so important, exactly?
If I had to sum this up in one word, I would say “transformation”. Marketing thinking is forever changed. Media measurement will certainly transform as we attempt to measure the long-tail and the impact of the consumer being in control of when and how they watch a show. We hear phrases like:

  • “We don’t advertise”; everything we do is a dialogue with the consumer”
  • “The interrupt and repeat model is dead”
  • “The mass media blast comes last. The first thing we do is find passionate affinity groups and then we learn what entertainment, networks, and websites they turn to. We then run events. We use TV but it comes last.”
  • “You can no longer achieve desired reach from one platform”
  • “Given media fragmentation, the only place I can find all of my customers is at retail; shopper marketing will become huge for us in the coming years”.

The ARF is in a unique position because it is the only industry association where all stakeholder groups who are affected by this marketing and media transformation are represented by our membership. Hence, we should have the broadest view of the impact on trading partners’ business practices. We are delighted to take on a role of being a catalyst and trailguide to help shape our brave new marketing world.

Please share your thoughts about the role the ARF should play.

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2 Responses to ““Cross-Media”; Yeah, It’s THAT Important (thanks A1)”

  1. Jeff Drake


    How can the ARF help educate marketing students to handle the quickly changing marketing tactics? Many of them are on the leading edge of consuming digital media, but they need to integrate this consumer understadning with marketing principles.

  2. joel

    Hi Jeff–
    Great to hear from you! I think the media planning decisions now center on a number of considerations, some old and some new:
    1–how do people research and shop for the type of thing you are marketing?
    2–how important are various touchpoints, including word of mouth and consumer-generated comments in the social web
    3–what is the proven impact of different media platforms
    4–what size business are you looking to create and what size budget do you have? (you might be forced into a purely viral approach if funds are limited)
    5–please consider that TV will probably be understated in its impact if you directly ask people about what influences their opinions about brands